partial recall

a blog of ideas, links, and musings.

Links for 2011-05-20

  • Awsum Shoes: Is it ethical to fix grammatical and spelling errors in reviews? [Slate Magazine – May 10, 2011] – According to Panos Ipeirotis, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business who studies consumer reviews on the Internet, the first review will lure more travelers. In a recent blog post, Ipeirotis discussed his research showing that well-written reviews help sell products, even when the write-ups are negative. Atrocious wireless connectivity? Who cares, so long as Wi-Fi is properly capitalized.
  • Perfecting Your Personas [User Interface Engineering – Jan 13, 2005] – A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design. By designing for the archetype — whose goals and behavior patterns you understand very well — you can satisfy the broader group of people represented by that archetype.
  • Greplin – Greplin is a personal search engine that allows you to search all your online data in one easy place. Greplin indexes the information you create on different websites (like Gmail, Twitter and Facebook) and provides lightning fast search of all your information.
  • Twapper Keeper – “We save tweets” – Archive Tweets
  • Flesch-Kincaid Readability Index Calculator – Flesch-Kincaid readability index calculator
  • 100 Things You Should Know About People: #54 — The Average Reading Level In the USA Is Grade 8 [What Makes Them Click – Jan 23, 2011] – The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Score — The most common formula for calculating the readability of a particular passage of text is the Flesch-Kincaid method. The method gives you a Reading Ease formula and also a reading grade level score.
  • What is Interaction? Are There Different Types? [Dubberly – Jan 01, 2009] – When we discuss computer-human interaction and design for interaction, do we agree on the meaning of the term “interaction” Has the subject been fully explored? Is the definition settled?
  • Sketching in Mockups [Balsamiq UX Blog – Apr 28, 2011] – This is where thumbnail sketching steps in. I hardly ever start full scale on a wireframe. Before I have the chance to even think about the details I work with thumbnail sketches. It’s like zooming 20 feet away from the thing you’re designing, blurring your eyes, and just seeing the major elements of the page. The idea with thumbnail sketching is to draw a smallish representation of your design, roughing out boxes and greeking lines of text to get an idea of what your interface will look like. You actually don’t even need text to sketch the interface, just scribbled lines. You can use text captions to describe what’s happening in the story.
  • The Usability of Passwords [Baekdal – Aug 11, 2007] – Security companies and IT people constantly tells us that we should use complex and difficult passwords. This is bad advice, because you can actually make usable, easy to remember and highly secure passwords. In fact, usable passwords are often far better than complex ones.
  • User Research Is Unnatural (But That’s Okay), Part I [UX Matters – Apr 05, 2011] – From the perspective of a participant, user research is not very natural. We ask participants to try to act naturally in the artificial environment of a lab, or we impose ourselves on their environment and hope our presence doesn’t affect their behavior. We often forget how unnatural user research can be and what effect it can have on participants.
  • The Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing [Smashing Magazine – Ju 24, 2010] – At its core, A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like: you have two versions of an element (A and B) and a metric that defines success. To determine which version is better, you subject both versions to experimentation simultaneously. In the end, you measure which version was more successful and select that version for real-world use.
  • Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development [UX Magazine – Apr 14, 2011] – So whether you are at a small start up or a large organization, whether you are a founder, executive, technologist, designer, manager, or marketer, ask yourself this: do you know your product’s story? And perhaps more importantly, who creates your product story?
  • NounProject – icon set
  • Poll Everywhere – Poll Everywhere replaces expensive proprietary audience response hardware with standard web technology. It’s the easiest way to gather live responses in any venue: conferences, presentations, classrooms, radio, tv, print — anywhere. It can help you to raise money by letting people pledge via text messaging. And because it works internationally with texting, web, or Twitter, its simplicity and flexibility are earning rave reviews.
  • Free UX Goodies: Persona Template [Orange Bus – Apr 03, 2011] – Personas are a crucial step in our process to keep decisions grounded and centred around the audience. They help to provoke questions which will challenge decisions, helping the whole team understand the audience being designed for and shaping the design of the site.
  • Creating Great Design Principles: 6 Counter-intuitive Tests [User Interface Engineering – Mar 01, 2011] – Great design principles help designers learn more about their design and make critical decisions about what they’re building.